Ghost Towns & Gravel, Episode 1: The Legend of Charles Breyfogle
Join Niner Bikes and rider Yuri Hauswald for a gravel road adventure into the past. Presenting Episode 1 of Ghost Towns and Gravel: the Legend of Charles Breyfogle. It’s a quest for gravel road gold, yet it’s also a journey into gold mining history (and modern oddities) as he and his riding partners explore the gravel roads in and around Belmont, Nevada.
This historic ghost town was once a destination for those seeking fame and fortune. Today, it’s an eclectic and eccentric collection of abandoned buildings and cabins. Few if any permanent residents call the town home, yet visitors are treated to a long, strange trip through time.
The town of Belmont in central Nevada was established in 1865 as prospectors descended on the area, seeking silver, copper, lead, gold, and other precious metals. One of those fortune seekers was Charles Breyfogle. His path was long and tortuous. After overhearing and misinterpreting discussion among other prospectors, he followed them into the desert, looking for a lost lode strike. When their camp was attacked, he escaped alone and wandered the arid dunes, eventually finding a natural spring for survival. This is where he found gold, but after his further misadventures, the location of this rich ore discovery was lost. Breyfogle spent the next 26 years wandering the desert, looking for the legendary lost gold.
Not unlike Charles, Yuri and his companions explored the gravel roads in and around the town, looking for gold of a different sort: gravel road gold. Did they find it? If you define “gravel gold” as deserted roads, endless views, and sovereign silence, then indeed they did.